Salleh Said Keruak
As we enter into 2018 there are a few things we must remember. First of all it is now more than 60 years since Merdeka when the new nation that was born on 31st August 1957 was founded on the spirit of moderation, understanding and tolerance. The formula hammered out between the British and the Alliance Party of Umno, MCA and MIC took into consideration the multi-ethnic and multi-religious make-up of the country that would require a lot of effort to prove viable.
This diversity was enhanced with the creation of Malaysia on 16th September 1963 when the country’s multi-ethnicity became richer with the inclusion of Sabah and Sarawak into the Federation.
The pride of being Malaysian is embedded in the concept of NegaraKu. Patriotism is about being proud of your country and uniting as one under 1Malaysia, bridging the ethnic and religious divide.
Over these 60 years the peace and tranquility of the nation was interrupted from time to time, the worse being in 1969. From the ashes of that May 13 1969 tragedy emerged Barisan Nasional to replace the Alliance Party and the nation not only reverted to its old self but economic progress was enjoyed in the years following that. Malaysia became the choice for foreign investors because of the country’s stable political environment.
Of late this is being threatened by those who play the race and religion card. 2018 we shall be seeing the 14th general election being held and we need to remember that a stable government must be one of the requirements in choosing a government. There are those who do not care if they sacrifice the nation in the pursuit of power and such people must be rejected. Let 2018 be the year Malaysians tell those who jeopardise our future that Malaysians wants peace and not chaos.